Exposé Online banner

Ataraxia — Adolescence of an Ancient Warrior
(Made in Japan MJC-1003, 1986/1994, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1995-07-01

Adolescence of an Ancient Warrior Cover art

Ataraxia were one of the more obscure of the original Made in Japan labelmates, back when they were still affiliated with the now-defunct Edison label. The band made one album in the mid-80s and nothing else, ever. It's now reissued and given much wider release than the original pressing. The music may be described as neo-prog, but don't let that scare you away, it's actually quite good. I'd describe the band as Genesis-influenced but, unlike many other such bands, original. The band sport a lavishly symphonic two-keyboard sound, mostly digital but some analog. The guitarist plays solidly in the Hackett mould, thick with sustain. Some drawbacks are notable, though. First of all, the trebly mix makes the drums difficult to listen to. It's not that the drummer is bad, he's actually quite talented, it's just that the snare is much too highly mixed, and cracks stridently every time it's hit. I've noticed this tendency on other albums by Japanese bands. Secondly, it's bad enough that they chose to write lyrics in English, but they never should have printed the lyrics in the booklet so the listener can actually see how poor their English is. Would you believe (from "Gabble") "What a tasty sock you have"? It doesn't help that the vocalist can barely speak English. He also seems to be straining to reach some high notes at times, but one is inclined to believe he wouldn't be having such troubles had he been singing in Japanese. While their music doesn't reveal anything new or unexpected, Ataraxia operate well within the symphonic genre. Their sound is comparable perhaps to stablemates Outer Limits (who are thanked in the credits), though without the violin and not consistently as good. A lot will find this album very enjoyable. And with its reissue one can't help but wonder, can Rosalia's Zillion Tears be far behind?


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 1994 releases, 1986 recordings

Related artist(s): Ataraxia

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dashiell Hedayat - Obsolete – Aahhhh! Here's another Gong album no one seems to know about, as this is basically Gong plus poet/musician Dashiell Hedayat (otherwise known as Melmoth). Evidently the lyrical content (especially on...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues